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Opportunity Hub with Bola Lawal: Seeking a Mentor? Just Slide Into their DM

Bola Lawal

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Banky W. (yes, I’m a big fan!) caught us all by surprise weeks ago when he made public his engagement to superstar Actress, Adesua Etomi. The intriguing part for me was the way he went about courting her in the first place. Banky described how he had admired Adesua from a distance, and so he decided to “slide” into her Instagram DM, and that’s how the process began, which has ultimately led to their engagement. So, I thought it would be a great idea to explain how Banky’s method could be applied to other life situations, like seeking out a Mentor/Advisor or even an influencer to help achieve a set goal.

To borrow from Mario Andretti, “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek. This sums it all up.

You can desire certain things, but you must be extremely determined and willing to do anything necessary to achieve them. Now, I must caution, there is no exact science to this, as outcomes may vary depending on the situation. However, there are common steps in the process that I’d advise to follow.

Identify Your Target
The key to getting what you want; is knowing what you want. And this is based on set goals and aspirations. For example, if you’re trying to set up an agri-business that solves the distribution problem in Nigeria, then you need to research pioneers in this field. This person does not have to be from Nigeria, rather he/she should have a strong background in agribusiness or more so experience launching a startup in an emerging market. Once you’ve identified your target, you need to scan through this person’s page to get more acquainted, and this will be useful once you make the approach.

Approach
Absent any mutual connections, sliding into the individual’s DM is your best option. And like they say, “closed mouths don’t get fed”. However, there is a good chance you might not get a response, which is fine – at least you tried.

Approach is key, again; thus the initial message sent should be purposeful. Refrain from too much “small talk”, as chances are the person in question could be quite busy. So, focus more on introducing yourself, which should include your background and some accomplishments. Then you may complement the person on his/her accomplishments, this kind of lets them know you’re paying attention.
Finally, be direct; make your request, and this should include the “why”, and the expected outcomes or rather, how the proposed relationship will aid in achieving your goals.

Follow-up
This is also a very important step, as it is very common to not get a response until you’ve attempted a few times. Also, some individuals are encouraged by persistency, thus keep trying, but also make sure you do so respectfully

Bola Lawal is a Social Entrepreneur and cofounder/CEO of ScholarX.co (@scholarx Instagram), a social impact startup that developed a mobile and web platform that helps African youths access quality education through scholarships, tuition crowdfunding and training/workshops. Prior to ScholarX, he worked as a Business Consultant with companies such as ConocoPhillips, Accenture and Shell He’s recently been featured as a Speaker at conferences in the US, Africa and Europe, and across multiple local and foreign media platforms. Bola graduated from University of Houston with a degree in accounting where he was the Chapter president of Beta Alpha Psi

1 Comment

  1. Chu

    June 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    I did this last month and it was even for my husband but I haven’t gotten a response till now. I got discouraged. This has gingered me to try again.

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